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The Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Product Photography

As the eCommerce business continues to boom, competing to get your products in the spotlight is harder than ever. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to master the basics of product photography. A good photo of your product can make or break your sales, so get those conversion rates up by making product photography a focus.

Here are some factors you need to take into account when photographing your products

Style and Message

Setting yourself up for success starts with having a strong brand identity. That’s where the visual aspect of your store comes into play. 

What kind of style does your store have and what sort of messaging about your products do you want to share with your target audience? 

Are you looking for a smart, fresh and clean look? Then you’d likely opt for a minimalistic background, with clean lines and a lot of white in your background. Is your brand fun and youthful? Then you’ll want to incorporate bright colors and some smiling faces into your photos. It really depends on the ‘vibe’ your store is setting up. 

For example:

Let’s say your store is selling artisanal vases, and your brand focuses on clean and calm but unique pieces. Using a minimalist set up where the focus is only on your product, as presented in the image, will portray exactly that message. You can create the value you want your products to have and help customers understand your brand identity and style.

DSLR or Smartphone?

A big question to ask is “Should I invest in a DSLR camera or use a smartphone to take photos of my products?” If you’re just starting out, getting expensive gear may eat into your budget, and in that case a smartphone should suffice. But if you want to up the ante and have the funds, using a DSLR will give you many options to take great photos.

If you’re going with a DSLR, you will need to ensure you understand how to adjust your camera’s ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. It may take some experimentation before you figure out the best settings on the camera to enhance your photos.

If you’re going to use a smartphone, you’ll have to play around with your phone’s settings, which could include setting up the focus for the shot, filters, and maybe even getting external lenses. You might even have to get an app or two to give you more options and controls to get the perfect shot.

Either way, your main objective is to get the best image of your product out there!

Set the Scene

Example of Macro photography used for small-sized products
Example of Flat Lay photography used when products are laid flat on a surface

What sort of product photography are you going to use and how should you set up a scene for the photo? There are so many ways to set up a shot. Are you focusing on the product itself? Or do you want to show how customers would interact with the product? Will your product need some context to show how it is used or what it looks like in a specific place? 

You would likely need to invest in a tripod to help you stabilise your shots, perhaps with Flatlay arm extensions to assist with flatlay type photos. You could even get a rotating table and take various shots of your product to give it a more 360 appearance. 

Read this article on the various types of eCommerce product photography to get a better understanding of how you could take photos of your products. To master composition and learn more about concepts like the ‘rule of thirds’, ‘diagonal triangles’, and ‘leading lines’, trending composition techniques would be a good article to dive into!

Edit, edit, edit

Once you’re taking good photos of your product, using photo editing software will take your photos to the next level. Adjusting your photo’s color balance, color temperature, light balance, and tint can help make the colors in your photo pop! Tools like spot removal could also help remove unwanted parts within the photo. Software like Adobe Lightroom can help with this, but If you’re a newbie, try using Gimp, which is a free open-source photo editing software that is easier to grasp. 

Why Good Product Photography Matters

Humans are visual creatures. If we don’t like what we see, we likely won’t approach it. 

So when it comes to eCommerce product photography, a good rule of thumb is to put yourself in the shoes of your customers, and take photos that you know will help sell your product. Creating a great visual experience for your customers with product photography can go a long way when done right.

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